Descendants of Indigenous Light Horse

November 16, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The Rona Tranby Trust Australian Light Horse Project supported 12 descendants of Indigenous WWI Australian Light Horse soldiers to travel to Beersheva to take part in the recent Centenary Commemoration ceremonies. 

The participants toured Israel, some with the Australian Light Horse Association Tour and some with the JNF Beersheva Tour, and visited sights of importance to the Australian Light Horse which were crucial to the success of the WWI Allied Sinai-Palestine Campaign of 1916 to 1918.

The trip to Israel culminated in the ANZAC Centenary events at Beersheva on 31st October,  the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheva, attended by Prime Ministers Turnbull and Netanyahu.

One of the participants, Ricky Morris, laid a wreath in honour of Indigenous Soldiers of the Australian Light Horse, for the first time in 100 years. Three of the participants, Elsie Amamoo, Ray Minniecon and Ricky Morris, rode in the re-enactment of the Charge in full Light Horse Uniform. One of the participants, Terry Hutchinson, was able to visit the grave of his Great Uncle, Ernest Firth at the Beersheva War Cemetery, the first one in his family to do so.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies member Jennifer Symonds and her husband Nick Schoulal travelled with the participants, and Jennifer laid a wreath in honour of her Great Uncle, Lionel Trenn, who fought with the 1st Light Horse Regiment at Beersheva and throughout the WWI Middle East campaign.

Following the trip to Israel, The Rona Tranby Trust Project will continue to support the participants to research their ancestors stories.

The Rona Tranby Trust was established in 1991, from a bequest in the will of Holocaust survivor Thomas Rona. The Trust supports the recording and preservation of Indigenous Australian Oral History. It was set up as a collaboration between Tranby Aboriginal College, NSWJBD and the Rona Estate. Jennifer Symonds has represented the NSWJBD on the Trust since 2004.

Several of the participants will give a report on their experience at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies plenum next Tuesday November 21 at 7.30pm.

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